Friday, November 10, 2006
God's goodness, our gratitude
Ps 145:8-10 NLT
8 The LORD is kind and merciful,
slow to get angry, full of unfailing love.
9 The LORD is good to everyone.
He showers compassion on all his creation.
10 All of your works will thank you, LORD,
and your faithful followers will bless you.
2 Co 4:11-12 NASU
11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.
Today I am reminded of God's graciousness and mercy. He is good to all, not to just a "righteous remnant." Daily Jesus bestows on all of us some kind of goodness and mercy, and we either thank God for it or turn blind eyes away from the light of God's Son.
As Paul says in 2 Corinthians, people's eyes often are blinded by the enemy of their souls so that even when God's Word is read, they have a veil over their eyes and cannot see the truth. Therefore they fail to bless God for the goodness or mercy bestowed.
The godly, however, should not react in this way. They should speak of God's goodness, mercy, mighty works, kingdom, etc. God's people should recognize his mercy and grace quickly and readily. Why? Because God "has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6).
Experience, however, often shows that it is God's very own "chosen" people who ignore or overlook his grace and goodness. Why? Because we have not learned to allow our selves to be given over to death so that Christ's life might be manifested in us.
What is required? 1) Death to the recognition of ourselves as in any way the originator of any "good" in our life--we couldn't produce those things if our lives depended on it (and, in a sense, they do!). 2) Death to an ungrateful or unthankful heart or attitude. Oxygen is as much a gift from God as life, health, riches, etc., but we often complain about our situation using the very oxygen from God that is freely given to us so that we can breath and talk! 3) Grace is needed. 4) The life of Christ is needed--this comes by virtue of God's grace, but we have to accept it. 5) A thankful heart is needed--this requires effort of our own. God will not give it (although he'll be happy to teach us how to obtain one by giving us difficult circumstances through which we can practice gratitude!).
All of this is to say that we all have reasons to be grateful. Perhaps it is time we acted like we were grateful.
Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
What I am listening to at the moment . . .
1. Need To Breathe
3. Family Force 5
Thanks for reading!